Source: The Herald Sun, Saturday, May 9, 1998, p.8


The facts
of our lives

    "It's quite a
paradox how completely 
we change from conception 
to death".

FEEL like your sex life
is at an all-time low?
Relax, because chances
are you will do the deed
more than 2500 times
in your lifetime.

   You will also spend six
months on the toilet and
talk on the phone for the
equivalent of 2 1/2 years.

   You will grow nearly
2m of nasal hair and shed
19kg of dead skin.

   Even the very
youngest have their
statistics: by the age of
12 months, the average
infant has drooled 145
litres of saliva, and will
have crawled 150km.

   Researchers from
around the world have
gathered information for 
a new BBC series which
documents the jour-
ney of the human
body from conception to
old age.

   London's Daily Mail
reported that researchers
spent two years
collecting the statistics
for the seven-part series.

   In one episode, a cam-
era appears to fly
through the ear drum and
travel inside the head to
reveal the skull, brain
and muscles that make up
the face.

   Viewers can follow
sperm on its journey
towards the egg to the
moment of ovulation.

The director of repro-
ductive medicine at
London's Hammersmith
Hospital, Professor
Robert Winston, said:
"Basically, it is the story
of the human body. It's a
story of fantastic
changes, written by
millions of years of
evolution and told afresh
by each of us in our
lifetime.

   "It's quite a paradox
how completely we
change from conception
to death but in terms of
our physiology we have
changed so little in the
last 100,000 years."

   Series producer Richard
Dale said hundreds of
institutes and experts
around the world had offered
material for the program.

   "It was a nightmarish
task because there was so
much material involved, "
he said.

   "(The researchers)
approached relevant institutes 
and individuals with
particular expertise all
over the world."

   The series begins with
the birth of a baby.

   Prof. Winston
introduces the tiny infant
as "a bit of fat, a bit of
protein-actually, she's
75 per cent water".

   "She's really just a
collection of chemicals,"
he says. "Yet she is the
most complicated thing
on earth and during her
lifetime she will achieve
the most amazing
things."


Where to next?

Student Questions for this article
Teacher Discussion of this article
Index - Related articles
Index - Data Reduction
Main Index - Numeracy in the News